As supplementary reading to the Season 3 recap, we count down some of the best moments from the season. Even if you can’t rewatch all the episodes, these scenes require mandatory viewing.
10. Chaos is a Ladder
Littlefinger and Varys, perennially locked in a game of real-life chess, square off against each other due to conflicting ideologies – Varys’ desire to keep the realm intact, regardless of who sits upon the throne, against Littlefinger’s willingness to let the world disintegrate into chaos if he can use it as a ladder.
9. The Climb
Talking of metaphoric climbs, watching Jon and Ygritte climb the Wall is just exhilarating. At the very top, we are treated to an incredible, sweeping view of Westeros.
8. The Hound vs The Lightning Lord
In a brutal and intense duel, the Hound and Beric Dondarrion, who is wielding a flaming sword, rain savage blows on each other. Even with Arya cheerleading for Beric, the Lightning Lord ends up getting killed. However, he is resurrected by the red priest Thoros after hastily muttering a few words. Seems much simpler than Horcruxes.
7. Cersei and Tyrion
Despite spending lesser time together this season, Cersei and Tyrion actually start to bond over their common problems – their forced marriages, their father’s lack of affection and of course, Joffrey being a jerk. There is a hilarious scene when Tyrion and Cersei spy on an unsuspecting Sansa and Loras taking a stroll, and Tyrion wonders aloud. ‘It’s hard to say which of the four of us is getting the worst of this arrangement.’
6. Game of Chairs
This is a scene I thoroughly enjoyed. The small council members quite literally play the Game of Thrones as they jockey for positions around Tywin. And just like that, the balance of power is established in the small council.
5. The Redemption of Jaime Lannister
This iconic scene marks the beginning of Jaime’s redemption arc. Jaime lays his soul bare to Brienne, confessing the real reason he killed King Aerys, the man he’d sworn a sacred oath to protect. When Brienne asks why he didn’t confide the truth to Ned Stark, Jaime responds, ‘By what right does the wolf judge the lion?‘ And right on cue, Team Lannister (me!) erupts into cheers.
This was the balm Game of Thrones offered to cure post-Red Wedding syndrome. It’s nowhere as good as the Season 1 finale, which started the whole trend of ending season finales with dragons, but it’s still an extremely gratifying scene.
3. The Bear and the Maiden Fair
Jaime and Brienne are in the list for the second time. When the Bolton soldiers force Brienne to fight a bear, Jaime heroically leaps into the pit and saves her. Despite being filthy, weak, and weaponless, Jaime still cuts a dashing figure as he pushes his way past Locke (‘Sorry about the sapphires’), with the show’s best rendition of The Rains of Castamere thrumming in the background.
2. The Red Wedding
The Lannisters send their regards, and it’s devastating. I still remember myself sitting disbelieving and shell-shocked after reading the Red Wedding chapter on my daily commute. I ended up getting down several stations after my stop.
Ramsay Snow did warn us back in Episode 6, ‘If you think this has a happy ending, you haven’t been paying attention’. That should have been our first clue. Ned Stark’s beheading should have taught us that no character was truly safe. But, no amount of foreboding would have prepared us for the Red Wedding. It is one of the most devastating and brutal scenes in TV history, but it is delivered flawlessly.
“A dragon is no slave.” And Dany swept the lash down as hard as she could across the slaver’s face. “Drogon,” she sang out loudly, sweetly, all her fear forgotten. “Dracarys.” The black dragon spread his wings and roared.
Ever since I read this scene, I’d been dying to see it in live action. Director Alex Greaves adapted it faithfully to deliver a truly EPIC scene, that will go down as one of the greatest ever moments in Game of Thrones.
‘Sam the Slayer’ killing a White Walker, Jaime and Brienne (again!) dueling, and Arya stabbing a Frey soldier.